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Full text of "A few words in support of no. 90 of the Tracts for the times : partly with reference to Mr. Wilson's letter"

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Acquiescing as I do in the general principles 
advocated in Tract XC, and deeply grateful to its 
author for bringing forward in it a view of oar 
formularies, full of comfort to myself and many 
others with whom I am acquainted, I am induced 
to say a few words with regard to Mr. Wilson's 
recently published Letter ; not as being unmindful 
of the great evils to which direct theological contro- 
versy, unless great care be used on both sides, is 
apt to lead, but still considering that in' the present 
case a view of part of our Articles, new in great 
measure at least to the present generation, will 
hardly meet with general acceptance till after full 
and fair discussion, and that those who feel diffi- 
culties in that view have a fair claim on those who 
advocate it that their objections shall at least be 
considered. I should not do justice to my own 
feelings if I did not add, that another reason which 

would less disincline one to controversy on the 
present occasion than on most others, is the most 
remarkably temperate and Christian tone of the 
paper to which Mr. Wilson was a party, and which 
began the contest: a tone w^hich may well encourage 
in us sanguine hopes, that the beginning having 
been made in such a spirit, whatever may be said 
on either side may be said on the w^hole in a temper 
not unworthy of the grave importance of the sub- 

Mr. Wilson begins w^ith considering the use of 
the word * authoritative teaching' in the Letter of 
the Four Tutors. On this point I do not deny that 
Mr. Newman seems to have misunderstood them, 
but still they also appear first to have misunderstood 
him. I think the Tract did imply, that on the 
points mentioned in their Letter, the Articles do 
not condemn the decrees of the Council of Trent, 
and that in point of fact there is no necessity for 
any Roman Catholic either then or at the present 
day to hold on these points opinions which the 
Articles condemn. And this view of what the Tract 
implied is made certain by the following passage of 
Mr. Newman's Letter to Dr. Jelf, ' The simple 

* question is, whether taken by themselves in their 

* mere letter, they (the decrees of Trent) express it, 
' (the present corrupt teaching of the Church of 

* Home,) whether in fact other senses short of the 

* sense conveyed in (her) present teaching 

' will not fulfil their letter, and may not even now in 

' point of fact be held in that Church.' On the other 
hand, when the Four Tutors consider that the 
Tract ' suggests' that the XXXIX Articles ' do not 

* contain any condemnation of the doctrines of 

* Purgatory &c., as they are taught authoritatively 

* by the Church of Rorae, but only of certain absurd 
' practices and opinions which intelligent Romanists 

* repudiate as much as we do,' they seem to have 
misunderstood the Tract which actually says, as 
quoted by Mr. Newman in his Letter, p. 10. 

* What is opposed is the received doctrine of the day 

* and unhappily of this day too^ or the doctrine of the 

* Roman Schools,' As things have turned out, it is 
perhaps to be lamented that Mr. Newman did not 
repeat this caution in each head of Art. xxii. and he 
says himself, (Letter, p. 9.) * this distinction .... 
' would have been made in far stronger terms had I 
' not often before spoken against the actual state of 
' the Roman Church, or could I have anticipated the 

* sensation which the appearance of the Tract has 
' excited.' And in the second edition, the Tract seems 
as explicit on the subject as can possibly be desired. 
Let me quote successively its statement on the first 
four of the five subjects mentioned in the Tutor's 

* Let it be considered then, whether on the whole the 

* Romish doctrine of purgatory' which the Article condemns, 
and which was generally believed in the Roman Church 
three centuries since as well as now, viewed in its essence, 
be not the doctrine that the punishment of unrighteous 

Christians is temporary not eternal, and that the purifi- 
cation of the righteous is a portion of the same punish- 
ment : together with the superstitions and impostures, 
for the sake of gain, consequent thereupon.' p. 28. 

* The doctrine then of Pardons spoken of in the Article 
is the doctrine maintained and acted on in the Roman 
Church, that remission of the penaltief of sin in the next 
life may be obtained by the power of the Pope, with such 
abuses as money-payments consequent thereupon".' p. 31. 

' On the whole, then, by the Romish doctrine of the 
veneration and worshipping of images and relics, the 
Article means all maintenance of those idolatrous honours 
which have been a?id are jmid them so commonly through- 
out the Church of Rome, with the superstitions, pro- 
fanities, and impurities consequent thereupon.' p. 36. 

' By the doctrine of the Invocation of Saints, then, the 
Article means all maintenance of addresses to them which 
entrench upon the incommunicable honour of God alone, 
such as have been, and are in the Church of Rome, and 

^ This would seem one of the passages alluded to in Mr. 
Newman's Postscript, in which the apparent vagueness arose 

* from the circumstance, that, the main drift of the Tract being 

* that of illustrating the Articles from the Homilies, the doc- 

* trines of the Articles are sometimes brought out only so far 

* as the Homilies explain them, which is in some cases an 

* inadequate representation.' In the first edition it stood ' the 

* pardons then spoken of in the Article are large and reckless 

* indulgences from the penalties of sin obtained on money- 

* payments:* which not unnaturally seems to have given many 
persons the impression, that the Tract did not consider the 
doctrine of the Pope claiming power to remit the penalties 
of sin in the next life, condemned l)y the Article, when such 
remission was not ' obtained on money-payments.' 

such as equally with the peculiar doctrine of purgatory, 
pardons, and worshipping and adoration of images and 
relics, as actually/ taught in that Churchy are unknown 
to the Catholic Church.' p. 42. 

Mr. Newman's opinion then is, that the 
doctrines on these subjects condemned by the 
Articles are not taught authoritatively by the 
Church of Rome in the sense of heing obligatory on 
the belief of each individual member of the Church, 
or so that that Church is irrevocably bound to them ; 
they are taught authoritatively in that they are not 
merely * practices and opinions which intelligent 

* Romanists repudiate as much as we do,' but, 
' maintained and acted on in the Roman Church,' 

* actually taught in that Church,' * an existing 

* ruling spirit and view in the Church,' which is * a 

* corruption and perversion of the truth,' and, 
' against which I think the XXXIX Articles 

* speak.' (Letter, p. 10.) The whole passage in 
Mr. N.'s Letter, p. 26. from ' for instance,' to 

* actually have done,' would make all this still more 
clear if there were room to quote it. Authoritative 
teaching may naturally mean the teaching of those in 
authority : but then individuals, members of the 
Roman Church, are not bound to believe such 
teaching, except so far as it is borne out by t/iat 
Church's authoritative statements: the Tract con- 
siders the Articles as directed against the authorita- 
tive teaching so lamentably prevalent throughout 
the Roman Church, not the authoritative statements 
of that Church herself. 

And now for the more important part of Mr. 
Wilson's Letter. The point which most people 
will perhaps feel to be brought out most forcibly in 
Mr. Wilson's Letter, he has expressed as follows ; 

' I am not inclined either to restrain or to expand the 
sense of the Articles, as men may think the Homilies 
expound them ; nor do I recognise the Homilies as the 
sole or best interpreter of their sense, though they are 
most valuable historical documents, and contain a doctrine 
necessary for the times when they were composed. But 
Mr. N. undertook to make out his principles as applied 
to the XXI L and XXXI. Articles, chiefly by a reference 
to them as representing the sense of the Articles. " The 
Homily and therefore the Article," p. ^6. He rested his 
case on ground chosen by himself; his own ground even 
betrays him.* p. 17. 

And we are thus led to two topics for discussion; 
first, Are the Homilies legitimate interpreters of 
these Articles ? and, secondly, Has the Tract fairly 
represented the teaching of the Homilies with respect 
to themV and 1 will take the two Articles (the twenty- 
second and thirty-first), to which Mr. Wilson confines 
his observations, separately. 

Before proceeding however with the subject, 
let me beg persons to consider, that the mere 
fact of an interpretation appearing at first to 
them a forced interpretation, is no argument 
whatever that it is really so, but only that it is 
new to them. I suppose many of us may re- 
member doctrines or opinions on various subjects 
which when first broached appeared to us quite ex- 

travagant, and which we now hold almost as first 
truths. Any thing which takes us quite by surprise 
appears forced. I am not denying that in parts of 
the Tract interpretations are given which to me do not 
seem the most obvious, (see post, p. 26.) but I can- 
not consider that of the twenty-second Article as 
in the number. On the contrary, it does seem 
that nothing but long habit could have made 
us imagine, e. g. that * doctrina Romanensium de 
' Purgatorio' means all teaching of Purgatory, or 
' doctrina Romanensium de invocatione Sanctorum' 
means all invocation of Saints. I have heard it 
said in the last fortnight, that the same principles 
which reconcile subscription to the twenty-second 
Article with the opinions maintained in the Tract, 
might reconcile subscription to the second Article 
with the Socinian heresy. Now I would almost stake 
the whole case on the fair issue of that question. 
Can any thing be more dissimilar in manner and tone 
than those two Articles ? The second contains an 
accurately drawn up dogmatic positive statement 
of the high mystery on which it treats, such as 
the Church has ever had recourse to for the preserv- 
ation of the Faith committed to her, and such as 
it is the tendency of the present day to consider 
subtle and overstrained. The twenty-second con- 
tains no one positive statement : it puts together four 
or five topics, which cannot be said to be all very 
closely connected with each other, and declares 
that ' doctrina Romanensium' on those topics is 


a fond thing, &c. Would not any one naturally 
infer from this opposition what Mr. Newman does 
infer? that the framers of the Articles see two 
things before their eyes, the Creeds which have 
come down to them from the early ages of the 
Church, and the corrupt system in existence practi- 
cally to a great extent overlaying these Creeds ; that 
the former they hand down as they have received 
them, the latter they protest against, as they see 
it, generally and in the mass : not being careful 
to draw up accurate statements of those true prin- 
ciples which are contradictory to the existing abuses, 
nor again tracing up the latter to their ultimate 
principles and condemning them; but without busy- 
ing themselves with such investigations, requiring 
as they would leisure, accuracy of thought, and 
unity of opinion, condemning what they saw as they 
saw it, energizing and practically active through- 
out the Church. Such would, I feel convinced, 
be the natural impressions made on our minds by 
this Article, but for long habit of viewing it in a 
different light. Still did statements of a different 
character exist in the Homilies, serious doubt 
would be thrown over such a conclusion. The 
Homilies are the sole contemporary document re- 
cognised by our Church in addition to the Prayer 
Book and Articles ; and did they contain, what 
the Articles do not, carefully drawn up dogmatic 
statements on the subjects mentioned in this twenty- 
second Article, we might well consider them as our 


Church's authoritative explanation of her words 
' doctrinaRomanensium.' These are words so general 
and indeterminate, as to compel us to resort for an 
explanation of them elsewhere : were there no other 
contemporary document sanctioned by our Church, 
then to history ; but there being such, to that docu- 
ment. Such then is the force as regards this Article 
of an appeal to the Homilies : not of course that we 
are bound to every sentence and paragraph in them, 
(see Tract, p. 66.) but that the general scope and 
tone of them on this subject will give us at least the 
nearest approach to our Church's authoritative 
explanation of what has absolutely no meaning 
without such explanation, the words * doctrina 
* Romanensium.' And that on the whole the tone 
of the Homilies is precisely what we should k 
priori have expected from the wording of the 
Article, T think few will deny : we find there long and 
detailed protests against the existingpractical system, 
but no attention given to the task of drawing up a 
consistent antagonist view : their tone is as negative 
as that of the Article. 

Nor does Mr. Wilson on the whole seem to deny 
this, for he rather joins issue on detached sentences 
from the quotations in the Tract, than on the 
general tendency of the teaching of the Homilies^ 
Still I cannot agree in his criticisms on the parti- 
cular passages he does criticize. Let us first take 

^ There is one exception in p. l6, to which I shall presently 


his extract from the quotation in the Tract on the 
subject of purgatory. 

' Where is, then, the third place which they call pur- 
gatory ? or, where shall our prayers help and profit the 
dead ? S. Augustin doth only acknowledge two places 
after this life, heaven and hell. As for the third place, 
he doth plainly deny that there is any such in all 
Scripture/ p. 8. 

Now even taking this sentence by itself, surely 
it is rather straining it to imply that the writer 
disbelieved any intermediate state in which the 
souls of the just should remain between death 
and the day of judgment. Yet if it do not mean 
this, it can mean nothing to Mr. Wilson's purpose ; 
for if the wording of it will admit the belief of any 
intermediate state for those who die in God's faith 
and fear, it will admit the belief of a state of 
gradual purification, whether with pain or without: 
and if it be supposed to deny any intermediate state 
whatever, we must impute to the homilist not only 
a strange ignorance of what is so commonly con- 
nected with St. Augustine's name, viz. his advocacy 
of a doctrine very much resembling the received 
Roman doctrine of purgatory; but also we must 
suppose that his own belief was (for I can think of 
no other alternative) that the soul is in a state of 
insensibility, from the time of its leaving the mortal 
body until the Great Day : a belief far from being 
common surely in our Church from that day to 


this, and formally condemned in the Articles put 
forth in the time of Edward the Sixth'. But 
whatever comes of the criticism on this sentence 
by itself, take the whole passage together, and 
the account given of it by the Tract 'will I really 
think commend itself to most minds as a very fair 
account. We need not of course suppose, that the 
homilist kept distinctly before his mind from first to 
last any definite doctrinal view : see p. 1 1. But the 
very words which follow, ' Chrysostom likewise is of 
this mind, that unless we wash away our sins in this 
present world, we shall find no comfort afterward : 
and St. Cyprian saith, 8fc.' shew what the writer 
had in his mind in the sentence before us. Here 
then shall follow the quotation from the Homily as 
made in the Tract, and the Tract's comment upon 
it : the summing up in the second edition of the 
Tract, as to the doctrine concerning purgatory 
which it is supposed the Articles condemn, has 
been already introduced. 

" Now doth St. Augustine say, that those men which are cast 
into prison after this life, on that condition, may in no wise be 
holpen, though we would help them never so much. And why? 
Because the sentence of God is unchangeable ^ and cannot be re- 
voked again. Therefore let us not deceive ourselves, thinking 
that either we may help others, or others may help us, by their 
good and charitable prayers in time to come. For, as the 
preacher saith, * When the tree falleth, whether it be toward the 
south, or toward the north, in what place soever the tree falleth, 

^ * Qui'Janimas]defunctorum praedicant usque ad diem judieii 
absque omni sensu dormire, aut illas asserunt una cum corpo- 
ribus mori . . . . ab orthodox^ fide .... prorsus dissentiunt.' 


there it lieth :* meaning thereby, that every mortal man dieth 
either in the state of salvation or damnatioUy according as the 
words of the Evangelist John do plainly import, saying, * He 
that believeth on the Son of God hath eternal life; but he that 
believeth not on the Son, shall never see life, but the wrath of 
God abideth upon him,' — where is then the third place, which 
they call purgatory? Or where shall our prayers help and 
profit the dead? St. Augustine doth only acknowledge two 
places after this life, heaven and hell. As for the third place, 
he doth plainly deny that there is any such to be found in all 
Scripture. Chrysostom likewise is of this mind, that, unless we 
wash away our sins in this present world, we shall find no comfort 
afterward. And St. Cyprian saith, that, after death, repentance 
and sorrow of pain shall be without fruit, weeping also shall be 
in vain, and prayer shall be to no purpose. Therefore he coun- 
selleth all men to make provision for themselves while they may, 
because, when they are once departed out of this life, there is no 
place for repentance ^ nor yet for satisfaction." — Homily concern- 
ing Prayer, pp. 282, 283. 

" Now it would seem, from this passage, that the 
Purgatory contemplated by the Homily, was one for which 
no one will for an instant pretend to adduce even those 
Fathers who most favour Rome, vi%. one in which our 
state would be changed, in which God's sentence could be 
reversed. * The sentence of God,' says the writer, ' is un- 
changeable, and cannot be revoked again ; there is no place 
for repentance^.* " 

On the subject of pardons, the introduction 
made in the 2d edition of the Tract as quoted 
(p. 6.) will perhaps be a sufficient explanation of 
the author's meaning. 

On the subject of * worshipping and adoration as 

<* See Appendix. 


well of images as of relics,' Mr. Wilson com- 
plains of the Tract as doing the same thing I had 
just now occasion to complain of him for doing, 
taking a passage apart from its context, and so 
laying undue stress upon it. But it will still 
perhaps appear to many people, that the additional 
passages quoted by Mr. Wilson do not really alter 
the state of the case. To do justice to both sides, 
it will be necessary to make rather a long extract 
from Mr. Wilson's Letter, (p. 14, 15.) 

*' Here 1 wish to draw your attention to the passage 
referred to, with the quotations from the Homilies. 

Tract, p. 23. " And a verification of such an under- 
standing of the Article is afforded us in some sentences in 
the Homily on Peril of Idolatry, in which, as far as 
regards relics, a certain ' veneration* is sanctioned by its 
tone in speaking of them, though not of course the Romish 

" The sentences referred to run as follows : — 

" In the Tripartite Ecclesiastical History, the Ninth Book, 
and Forty-eighth Chapter, is testified, that * Epiphanius, being 
yet alive, did work miracles : and that after his death, devils, 
being expelled at his grave or tombf did roar.* Thus you see wliat 
authority St. Jerome (who has just been mentioned) and that 
most ancient history give unto the holy and learned Bishop 

" Here the quotation in the Tract ends, but the Homily 
goes on. 

" Thus you see what authority St. Jerome, and that most 
ancient history , give unto the holy and learned Bishop Epipha- 
niuSy whose judgment of images in churches and temples, then 
beginning by stealth to creep in, is worthy to be noted.'' 


" His judgment having been shewn in 

" That when he entered into a certain church to pray, 
he found there a linen cloth hanging on the church door 
painted, and having in it the image of Christ as it were, or 
of some other saint ; therefore when I did see the image of 
a man hanging in the Church of Christ, contrary to the 
authority of the Scriptures, I did tear it, and gave counsel 
to the keepers of the church that they should wind a poor 
man that was dead in the said cloth, and so bury him." 
Horn. ib. 

Again : — 

*• St. Ambrose, in his Treatise of the Death of Theodosius the 
Emperor, saith, * Helena found the Cross, and the title on it. 
She worshipped the King, and not the wood, surely (for that is 
an heathenish error and the vanity of the wicked) but she wor- 
shipped Him that hanged on the Cross, and whose Name was 
written on the title,' and so forth. See both the godly empress's 
fact, and St. Ambrose's judgment at once; they thought it had 
been an heathenish error, and vanity of the wicked, to have wor- 
shipped the Cross itself, which was embrued with our Saviour 
Christ's own precious blood." — Peril of Idolatry, part 2, circ. 

" In these passages the writer does not positively com- 
mit himself to the miracles at Epiphanius^s tomb, or the 
invention of the true Cross, but he evidently wishes the 
hearer to think he believes in both. This he would not 
do, if he thought all honour paid to relics wrong.*" — 
Tr. p. 24. 

But if the latter passage is finished to the end of its 
paragraph, it stands thus: — 

** They thought it had been an heathenish error to have 
worshipped the Cross itself which was embrued with our 
Saviour Christ's own precious blood. And we fall down before 
every cross piece of timber, which is but an image of that cross." 
— Horn. 


" This is but an argument a fortiori, by no means 
shewing that the writer wished the hearer to think he 
believes in the invention of the true Cross, but — if they 
who thought they had found it would not worship even 
that, much less, &c. Neither does the Homilist at all 
concern himself as to his hearers believing in the miracle at 
Epiphanius's tomb. The miracles (he says) were believed 
of old, which shows in what great estimation he was held. 
And if he of so great estimation tore a cloth painted with 
an image &c. neither of the passages bear upon the 
question of relics, much less convey any judgment of the 

" This is a very small matter in itself, that in extracting 
a quotation, a line or two of the succeeding context should 
have escaped the eye ; but in this case these few lines 
would give a totally different character to the passages 
taken, and to the thread of the argument of the writer. 
The inference from these citations was very material ; an 
inference which depends solely on the places, and which I 
do not believe could be derived from any other extracts 
from the Homihes, unless equally incomplete.'*'' 

But ' the thread of the argument of the writer* in 
these passages is surely of no importance. Who 
denies that it is an a fortiori argument ? The plain 
question is, would he have expressed himself in the 
course of it as he did in the two passages quoted 
by the Tract, had he considered all veneration of 
relics forbidden by the Church of England, ' as a 
fond thing .... rather repugnant to the word of 
God?' Few surely will think so. As to the first 
quotation, what veneration of relics can the Tract 
be supposed to advocate as lawful, beyond that 



implied in a belief that relics may work miracles : 

* that most ancient history^ professes such belief, 
and, as all must feel, is not spoken of in a tone 
which would be adopted in speaking of a venera- 
tion forbidden by the Church of England. As 
to the second quotation, not to lay stress on the 
miracle by which tradition reports the discovery 
of the true cross to have been made, (which would 
make the case stronger,) at all events, to feel 
an interest in such discovery shews a certain 

* veneration of relics.' Nay what force in saying 
they did not worship the true Cross unless they 
paid it some veneration. Are St. Ambrose then and 
the ' godly empress' spoken of as if entertaining 
a feehng condemned by our Articles ? rather as 
the continuation cited by Mr. Wilson makes still 
more clear, they are spoken of as authorities to be 
deferred to. Consider too the very tone of the 
passage, ' the cross which was embrued with our 
Saviour Christ's own precious blood.' 

Mr. Wilson's next quotation from the Homilies 
is the following, (p. 17.) cited by him to 
shew * that the homilist would deem even the 

* having of images if not Popish, unlawful :' but 
of course the enquiry is, what light do the 
Homilies throw on the phrase in the Articles 

* doctrina Romanensium ?' and therefore the only 
pertinent question is, what veneration of images 
they consider ' Popish ?' But indeed the passage 
shews plainly, that what the writer considers doc- 


trinally forbidden is idolatry, and gives as his opinion 
that to have images in churches is (not in itself 
wrong, but) most dangerous for the peril of 

' Wherefore the images of God, our Saviour Christ, the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles, Martyrs, and others of 
notable holiness, are, of all other images, most dangerous 
for the peril of idolatry, and therefore greatest heed to be 
taken that none of them be suffered to stand in Churches 
and Temples." — Peril Idol. 3rd part. 

In the last passage Mr. Wilson has quoted, 
he has pointed out that Mr. Newman's tran- 
scriber or printer has made a mistake ; but the 
introduction of the words omitted only makes the 
summing up in the Tract more closely accurate. 
The passage in the Homily, which had been ac- 
cidentally mutilated in the Tract, when read in full 
is this : ' Is not this stooping and kneeling before 
' them, adoration of them, which is forbidden so 
' earnestly by God's word?' And the summing up in 
the Tract is as follows ; ' Now the veneration and 
' worship condemned in these and other passages 
' are such as these, kneeling before them, 8fc.' p. 36. 
* Kneeling before them' is mentioned in the Tract as 
being part of that adoration of them condemned by 
the Article. 

It should be added in fairness, that there 

t remains a passage quoted by Mr. Wilson in p. 14, 
against which nothing has been said : let it have 
its weight : it seems certainly to speak of having 


images as * contrary to the authority of the 
Scriptures.' But let me also cite a passage from 
the Homilies quoted by Mr. Wilson in a different 
connexion, but drawing the same distinction we 
have seen before between ' having* them and 

* worshipping' them. p. 30. 

* And thus you see how, from having of images privately, 
it came to public setting of them up in churches and 
temples, although without harm at the fir^^t, as was then 
of some wise and learned men jik ged : and from simply 
having them there, it came at the last to worshipping of 

On the whole then, does not the case seem 
made out by the * four close pages from the 
Homilies' quoted by the Tract, that the main 
tendency of their teaching is a vehement protest 
against the corruptions they saw around them, 
not the assertion of any one systematic view in 
opposition ? Nay, let it be asked, who is there 
among us all in any degree religiously-minded, who 
having in his possession a piece of sculpture on a 
religious subject, would treat it as though it were a 
common ornament? and if not, what does he 
shew but a certain ' veneration of images,' * though 

* of course not the Romish .?' 

The last subject under the twenty-second Article 
is the Invocation of Saints. And in this too the 
quotations from the Homilies introduced in the 
Tract do seem to shew, that the writers had not ia 
view the task of assigning the exact limits within 


which the realizing of our Communion with 
departed Saints may be lawful to the spiritually- 
minded Christian, but, as before, that of bearing 
witness against the practical corruptions they found 
actually in existence '*. As to the three first quota- 
tions, any reader must surely grant this ; and as to 
the fourth from which Mr. Wilson has introduced an 
extract, (p. 20.) an attentive perusal of the whole 
will, I think, lead to the conclusion expressed in 
the Tract : that the idea in the mind of the writer 
as to what he was attacking, was what he saw in 
men's practice on all sides of him : a habit of 
addressing Saints in such a manner as to make 
them at the time the ultimate object of thought. The 
passages put in italics in the Tract would seem 
to my mind to put this beyond fair doubt. Of 
course it is not necessary to maintain that the 
Catholic Christian will readily go along with the line 
of argument adopted in the Homily ; the mere 
question is, what was the religious practice against 
which he was writing as corrupt and * Romish V 
Mr. Wilson has introduced another quotation from 
the Homilies which shall here be inserted, (the 
italics are not Mr. Wilson's :) p. 21. 

* For it is evident, that our image-maintainers have the 
same opinion of" saints which the Gentiles had of their 
false gods, and thereby are moved to make them images, 
as the Gentiles did. If answer be made, that they make 
saints but intercessors to God, and means for such things 
as they would obtain of God ; that is, even after the 
* See also p. 30. 


GentiW idolatrous usage, to make them of saints^ gods, 
called Dii Medioximi, to be mean intercessors and 
helpers to God, as though he did not hear, or should be 
weary if he did all alone. So did the Gentiles teach, 
that there was one chief power working by other, as 
means; and so they made all gods subject to fate or 
destiny ; as Lucian in his Dialogues feigneth, that 
Neptune made suit to Mercury, that he might speak 
with Jupiter. And therefore in this also, it is most 
evident, that our image-maintainers be all one in opinion 
with the Gentile idolaters." Against Peril of Idolatry, part 3. 

Now does the drift of this passage seem fairly 
applicable to the case of any holy and self-denying 
man whose thoughts are in Heaven, ever resting 
upon God his Supreme Good, and who may feel him- 
self drawn to the practice of asking the prayers of 
departed Saints to that God, as he does the prayers of 
his living brethren ? does the idea of such a person 
seem to have been for a moment present to the mind 
of the writer ? On the other hand, to one kind 
of error (which certainly exists, perhaps to a very 
great extent, as matter of opinion in the Roman 
Church at the present day, and most probably at 
that day also,) it is remarkably applicable : viz. 
such as the opinion that the Blessed Virgin is 
appointed by our Lord the sole necessary channel 
through which His grace shall flow^ to His Church, 
so that in fact addresses to her are more immediate 
applications for a supply of grace than to our Lord 
Himself : and opinions which are far from going to 

** The following passages, taken from Archbishop Ussher's 
answers to a Jesuit, have been shewn me since the above was 


this shocking extent, but which tend in the same 
direction, may well be aimed at in this passage ; as 

written ; and they will serve both to make my meaning clearer, 
and also to shew the existence at that period (S. Bernardinus 
lived in the 15th century) of writings which would be altogether 
adequate objects for the strictures in this passage of the 
Homily. The quotations are given on the authority of the 
Cambridge edition of Ussher, 1 835. 

A tempore enim quo Virgo mater concipit in utero Verbum 
Dei, quandam, ut sic dicam, jurisdictionem seu auctoritatem in 
omni Spiritus sancti processione temporali, ita quod nulla 
creatura aliquam a Deo obtinuit gratiam vel virtutem, nisi 
secundum ipsius piae matris dispensation em. Bernardin. 
Senens. Serm. Ixi. Artie, i. cap. 8. 

Et quia talis est mater Filii Dei qui producit Spiritum 
sanctum, ideo omnia dona virtutis et gratiae ipsius Spiritus 
sancti, quibus vult, quando vult, quomodo vult, et quantum 
vult, per manus ipsius administrantur. Id. ibid. 

Nulla gratia de coelo nisi ea dispensante ad nos descendit. 
Hoc enim singulariter officium divinitus ab seterno adepta est, 
sicut Proverb, viii. ipsa testatur, dicens, Ab aeterno ordinata 
sum ; scilicet dispensatrix caelestium gratiarum. Id. ibid. Artie, 
iii. cap. 3. 

In Christo fuit plenitudo gratiae sicut, in capite influente, in 
Maria vero, sicut in collo transfundente. Unde Cantic. vii. de 
Virgine ad Christum Salomon ait, Collum tuum sicut turris 
eburnea. Nam sicut per collum vitales spiritus a capite 
descendunt in corpus, sic per Virginem a capite Christo vitales 
gratiae in ejus corpus mysticum transfunduntur. Id. ibid. 
Artie, i. cap. 8. Artie, ii. et cap. 10. ex Pseudo-Hieronymi 
Sermone de Assumpt. Mariae. Sicut enim a capite, mediante 
collo, descendunt omnia nutrimenta corporis, sic a Christo per 
beatam Virginem in nos veniunt omnia bona et beneficia quae 
Deus nobis confert. Nam ipsa est dispensatrix gratiarum et 
beneficiorum Dei. Joan. Herolt. in Sermon. Discipuli de 


certainly no one will doubt that to whatever extent 
they did exist, to whatever extent Saints were 
allowed to obscure in the mind the vision of the 
one God, such opinions would be part of the 
* doctrina Romanensium' condemned by the 

On the subject of the thirty-first Article, I hardly 
know what to say. If Mr. Wilson considers that 
the doctrine is condemned in it of the Eucharist 

Tempore, Serm. clxiii. Per collum Virginis apud Deum 
gratia et intercessio intelligitur, ita ut ejus intercessio sit 
veluti collum, per quod a Deo omnes gratiae praesidiaque 
in homines transfunduntur. Bias. Viegas in Apocalyps. 
cap. xii. Comment, ii. sect. 10. num. 1. Collum enim dicitur, 
quia per Virginem uni versa in nos a Deo, tanquam a capite, 
beneficia derivantur. Id. ibid. num. 2. 

Quasi sublato Virginis patrocinio, perinde atque halitu 
intercluso, peccator vivere diutius non possit. Viegas, ibid, 
sect. ii. num. 6. 

Tot creaturae serviunt gloriosae Virgini Mariae, quot serviunt 
Trinitati. Omnes nempe creaturae, quemcunque gradum 
teneant in creatis, sive spirituales ut angeli, sive rationales ut 
homines, sive corporales ut corpora coelestia vel elementa, et 
omnia quae sunt in coelo et in terra, sive damnati sive beati, 
quae omnia sunt divino imperio subjugata, gloriosae Virgini 
sunt subjecta. Ule enim qui Dei Filius est et Virginis 
benedictae, voleiis, ut sic dicam, paterno principatui quodam- 
modo principatum aequiparare maternum, ipse qa Deus erat 
matri famulabatur in terra. Unde Lucae ii. scriptum est de 
Virgine et glorioso Joseph, Erat subditus illis. Praeterea haec 
est vera, Divino imperio omnia famulantur et Virgo ; et iterum 
haec est vera, Imperio Virginis omnia famulantur et Deus. 
Id. ibid. cap. 6. 


being an offering tor the quick and dead, lie must 
condemn some of our most respected Divines almost 
from that day to this. But the whole scope of the 
Article, as is plain from both its title and wording, 
is to vindicate the soleness and all-sufficiency of 
the One Sacrifice. 

Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross. 

" The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect 
redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins 
of the whole world, both original and actual ; and there is 
none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore 
the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was C(.mmonly 
said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the 
dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous 
fables, and dangerous deceits." 

The * sacrifices of masses' are only introduced as 
bearing upon this point : they saw that practically 

* masses as observed in the Church of Rome 

* actually impaired or obscured the doctrine of the 

* one Atonement ;' (Letter to Dr. Jelf, p. 27.) and 
condemned them as so doing ^ : they considered 
most justly any thing which did so as a ' blas- 

* phemous fable,' and we find from the Homilies as 
well as other sources that the particular observances 
which had this effect, were also so full of other 
shameful abuses, as to deserve the name of * per- 
niciosse imposturse' as well. With regard to Mr. 
Wilson's quotation from Bishop Jewel, it is only 
necessary to remark that no one has maintained 

*» See page 30. 


that belief in the Eucharistic Sacrifice is required 
of those who subscribe our formularies ; and that 
Bishop Jewel's writings have never been recognized 
by our Church as of authority. 

I trust I have now succeeded in vindicating the 
Tract's interpretation of the twenty-second and 
thirty-first Articles from the difficulties which have 
prevented Mr. Wilson from receiving it. As my 
object in writing is to support the Tract, not to 
engage in controversy with him, no further remarks 
on his Letter seem necessary : but I am naturally 
led on to consider what seems certainly to me a 
more difficult question than those which Mr. 
Wilson has raised, and which has been alluded 
to in a very unassuming and pleasing spirit, by 
* one who owes much to the Tracts for the Times:' 
I mean the Article on General Councils. I fear 
that what may be said on it may possibly displease 
some whom it is most painful to displease ; I mean 
that most highly respected class of our living 
divines, who consider the spirit in which the English 
Reformation was carried on by its human agents not 
to have been on the whole uncatholic. Such persons 
do not feel the difficulty which some others may 
feel : they would join issue with those who claim 
the Articles as ruhng matters on the Protestant 
side, by denying that any powerful party at the 
time could have wished so to rule them : to them it 
will have never occurred to doubt, 1 quote the words 
used in a private letter by one deeply venerated 


person, * that General Councils were never meant to 
include CEcumenicaL' Some will probably carry this 
principle still further, and consider our Articles 
to exclude the adherents of Protestantism, (or as 
they would rather call it ultra Protestantism,) such 
as we find them at the present day. 

But still as several persons remain who, with all 
their anxiety to follow such revered authorities, can- 
not bring themselves to acquiesce in this view of the 
case, and as their feelings have met with sanction not 
less high than that of the editors of Mr. Froude's 
Remains, (see preface to the 2d part of that work,) 
it seems no wanton outrage on feelings which must 
[ever command our highest respect, but direct 
necessity which compels them in self-defence to 
express their view of our formularies, and of the 
ground on which such as they consider they may 
honestly subscribe them. They cannot deny, that to 
them there appears an obvious leaning to Protestant- 
ism in the wording of some few of the Articles ; the 
point on which they join issue being, whether this 
leaning has actually been allowed to have its full 
effect. Two alternatives are open to them : either 
we may consider, that those who drew up the 
Articles had before their minds all through their 
task the thought of an opposite party in the Church 
whom they must not offend, and whose views if 
they actually contradicted in the Articles, the sanc- 
tion of Convocation (the sole Church authority of 
the time) was not to be expected, (Tract, p. 82. 


second edition): or it remains that God's merciful 
providence watched over this branch of His Church, 
(favoured as she has ever been far beyond our 
deserts, and all the dearer to us her faithful children 
from her present captivity, and from the imminent 
dangers which have threatened her,) so watched over 
her, I say, amidst all the excesses of that period, as 
without the intervention of human agency to protect 
her from herself, and graciously save her from any 
formal admission of the unhappy errors then preva- 
lent. But I think that without falling back on the 
latter of these suppositions, there is abundant 
internal evidence in our formularies themselves 
(without going to the historical question which 
well deserves an attentive investigation) to convince 
us of the former. If persons will not reject this 
notion at once as forced and sophistical, but allow 
themselves to carry it with them as they look at 
the Articles, I am persuaded they will see more 
and more probability of its truth ; they will see in 
the Articles in dispute (which at last are but few) a 
remarkable attempt on the part of the framers to 
present an imposing external appearance of Protest- 
antism, while nothing is really decided which might 
prevent those who deferred more really than they 
did to primitive authority from subscribing. This 
of course is the meaning of the last paragraph in 
the Tract, and it well deserves our careful attention. 
For instance (see Tract, p. 44.) the passage in 
the 28th Article, * The Sacrament of the Lord's Sup- 


' per was not hy Christ's ordinance reserved, carried 

* about, lifted up, or worshipped;' in the 25th, * the 

* Sacraments were not ordained by Christ to be gazed 
' upon or to be carried about ;' and in the 32d, 

* Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded by 

* God's law, either to vow the estate of single life 
' or to abstain from marriage;' would bear an appear- 
ance to Foreign Protestants of a spirited protest 
against what they considered corruptions, (part of 
them of course really were so); but when those at 
home who were more nearly concerned, as having 
to sign them, came to look more closely, they would 
find nothing asserted beyond the very plain truth, 
that such ordinances were not ordained by Christ, 
and so might lawfully (even the question of expedi- 
ency being waived) be discontinued by the Church. 
And so again the 14th Article, while it bears on 
its surface the mark of a loud protest against Rome, 
as actually worded is barely more than a truism: 
the question of course being, not whether we can 
do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required^ 
which no orthodox believer ever dreamt of holding, 
(God forbid !) but whether it is possible for His sake 
to do more, to make higher advances in holiness, 
than the least which in His great mercy for the 
merit of Christ's death. He will accept as sufficient 
to salvation. And to deny this, seems necessarily 
either to deny that holiness as such is required for 
salvation, (T mean independently of that degree of 
holiness which will in the judgment of some neces- 


sarily result from the news of forgiveness, appre- 
hended by faith,) or to assert that the least faUing 
short of hohness, attainable by us through the in- 
dwelUng of the Holy Spirit, will entail on us eternal 
ruin. Now on all these Articles if persons of different 
sentiments protested, they might be triumphantly 
challenged to point out the statement to which 
they objected : they could find none, any more 
than we can at the 'present day. Indeed it is 
worth the consideration of any person studying 
the Homilies, especially as illustrating part of the 
Articles, whether there is not in a large number 
of passages a remarkable union of truth in point of 
doctrine^ and error in point of fact, (of course on such 
points they have no claim upon us) ; truth oi' doctrine 
in declaring certain opinions condemnable, error in 
fact in considering them held by the more religious 
Roman Catholics ^ Great part of what appears to 
have struck some persons as disingenuousness in 

* Even as to the Articles there is nothing to interfere witli 
the supposition (not an impossible one) that both in the 14th 
and Slst the framers were mistaken as to the matter of fact, 
what was the doctrine held by serious Roman Catholics. Such 
a mistake would seem a natural result, from their apparent 
tendency to view religious opinions from wilhout, rather look- 
ing at them in their effects on the mass of men, than applying 
themselves to the enquiry, what might be their meaning, and 
what place they might legitimately hold in the mind of the 
more religious. Of course mistakes of this sort no more pre- 
vent subscription, than their ascribing the Athanasian Creed to 
St. Athanasius, or a passage to St Augustine in the 29th Article 
which Porson pronounces spurious. 


portions of the Tract, is I am persuaded referable to 
this cause. 

Accordingly, to come nearer our present more 
immediate purpose, notwithstanding the strong pro- 
tests made in favour of Holy Scripture in the sixth and 
twentieth Articles, as well as the one before us, a very 
remarkable silence is maintained on the question, who 
is to be judge of the scripturalness of a doctrine alleged 
as necessary: a silence which there seems absolutely 
no way of accounting for, except some such desire 
of comprehension as I have spoken of. Another 
thing very much to be observed, and perfectly in- 
explicable on the hypothesis of Protestant principles 
having had their full freedom in the reconstruction 
of our formularies, is, that the necessity of proof 
from Scripture is every where confined to truths 
necessary to salvation: this is so not only in the 
sixth, twentieth, and twenty-first Articles, but also 
in the Ordination Service ; so that it cannot 
possibly be the result of accident. 

The Bishop. * Are you persuaded that the Holy 

* Scriptures contain sufiiciently all doctrines required 

* of necessity for eternal salvation .... and are you 

* determined out of the said Scriptures to instruct 
' the people committed to your charge, and to 

* teach nothing as required of necessity to eternal 

* salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded 

* may be concluded and proved by the Scrip- 

* ture?' It is needless to point out how very 
unlike such a form as this is to what would 
be the free and unrestrained expression of 


persons, who held either that the individual 
or that the local Church had no authority to 
guide them on doctrinal points, except the letter 
of Scripture. The qualification as to truths ' ne- 
' cessary to salvation' wjuld have actually no 
meaning in the mouths of such persons. On the 
other hand, the result has been that the later 
English Church, as distinguished from other 
Churches, has borne a most remarkable witness to 
the truth which appears to have been altogether 
Catholic, that all points of necessary faith are con- 
tained (whether on the surface or latently) in 
Scripture, and that it is the duty of the Church to 
draw them from thence for the edification of her 
children : not merely to say to them, * believe this 

* for the Church believes it,* but ' believe this, for the 

* Church has ever seen it in these certain passages of 

* Scripture; dwell on them carefully and reverently 

* yourselves, that you may go on more and more to 
' see it there too.' 

For the proof of the Catholicity of this doc- 
trine the reader is referred to the thirteenth 
of Mr. Newman's Lectures on the Prophetical 
Oflfice of the Church : and it is one which it seems 
to have been the peculiar office of the English 
Church to preserve in these later ages. To say so, 
it may be hoped, involves no uncharitableness to 
other Churches ; it is consistent with a full and 
grateful acknowledgment, that on other Catholic 
truths they have borne a more explicit testimony 
than we have, nor is it meant to imply that they 


have formally denied this, (of course we are speak- 
ing of the formal statements of each Church, not 
of the practical corruptions in either) : but has there 
not been a tendency in the later Roman Church, 
arising naturally from the absence of a full and 
'prominent statement on her part of this truth, to 
teach saving truth more exclusively on her own 
authority than the example of the early Church 
would warrant, and so to be remiss in the duty of 
encouraging in the laity the reverent study of the 
Sacred Volume ? and may we not by the way 
allude to this as one out of the numberless marks 
we have on us of being a living branch of Christ^s 
Church, that the Roman Church and ours together'^ 
make up so far more an adequate representation 
of the early Church, (our several defects and 
practical corruptions as it were protesting against 
each other,) than either separately^? 

Havidg then so far cleared our way, let us 
enter upon the consideration of the twenty-first 
Article ; and see whether any thing more Pro- 

' The Greek Church is not mentioned, because its practice 
on such matters is understood to be much the same with the 

» It is much to be wished that Roman Catholic writers 
would remember that it is not incumbent on any member of 
our Church to maintain our superiority to them either in 
formal statement or in practice. We do not deny their Com- 
lunion to be part of the Universal Church, though they deny 
irs to be so. 



testant has really been introduced into it than 
this characteristic, and most honourable feature 
of the English Church ? I suppose most people on 
reading it first are struck with this impression, that 
it is contrasting the authority of General Councils 
with that of Scripture ; and saying that the former 
being composed of fallible men, are themselves 
fallible; and therefore claim at our hands, or else at 
the hands of the local Church, no deference beyond 
the point to which we can see that Scripture bears 
out their decrees ; nor is it necessary to deny either 
that this would be the private opinion of the 
framers, or that they wished it should at first sight 
convey this impression. 

* General Councils may not be gathered together without 
the commandment and will of princes. And when they be 
gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men 
whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of 
God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in 
things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained 
by them have neither strength nor authority, unless it may 
be declared (nisi ostendi possint) that they be taken out 
of holy Scripture.' 

Perhaps most readers will agree, that this cer- 
tainly at first sight seems to run very smoothly 
according to the purport I have mentioned ; but 
I have omitted a few words, which when introduced 
spoil the natural course of the argument altogether; 
nay it is not too much to say make it impossible 

. 35 

to construct the argument out of the Article as it 
really stands. 

* Things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have 
neither strength nor authority, &c.* 

Now as these words are just the introduction of' 
what has been naentioned as the characteristic 
excellence of the later English Church, so on the 

rther hand have they not every appearance of 
[being introduced in consideration of the wishes 

)f men more Catholicly minded than the framers ? 
'That they found their way there accidentally, no 
one will for an instant think, who observes the 
very same clause in the sixth and twentieth Articles, 
and also in the Ordination Service. Yet on what 
Protestant principle, on what principle denying 
authority on religious doctrines to all General 
Councils, have they any meaning whatever ? No 
one will maintain that all religious truths are 
necessary to salvation; why then on those not neces- 
sary have General Councils authority independ- 
ently of Scripture, according to the w^ords of the 
Article, and not on others ? No ! I feel persuaded 
that fair minded men will see in this Article the 
result of a compromise with the opposite party, 
md an intentional abstinence from determining the 
question whether some General Councils have given 
them authority by Christ to determine religious doc- 

ine with infallible truth ; ruling at the same time 
much as this, that any General Council which 


determined that to be a point of necessary faith 
which should not be contained and able to be pointed 
out (ostendi possint) in Holy Scripture, would err 
in so doing, and therefore would not be so far 
such infallible Council. And if it be asked, what 
remains in that case as the force of the Article at 
all? an obvious answer is found in the very general 
opinion, that the Roman Church had considered 
those to be CEcumenical Councils which were not 
so ; and with regard to which one mark of their 
not being so was, that they seemed to rule as points 
necessary to salvation, what they did not even 
profess to see in Scripture ; while on the other hand 
practically doctrines which the Reformers desired to 
oppose were grounded (with or without reason) on 
the decrees of such General Councils : against which 
they declare ' General Councils may err and have 
erred, &c.' For the importance of this test of the 
Catholicity of a General Council, see Newman's 
Prophetical office of the Church, Lect. viii. where he 
brings out the fact, that the first General Council 

* which professed to ground its decrees not on 

* Scripture sanction but mainly on tradition,' was 
' the first which framed as an Article of faith what 

* was beside and beyond the Apostles' Creed,' was 

* the Council which decreed the worship of images,' 
and was the first which took place certainly after 
the schism had taken place between the East and 

It will perhaps be hardly cogent in arguing 


on this subject to bring forward the names 
of our divines who have held the infaUibihty of 
some General Councils, as they will only be in- 
cluded in the charge of inconsistency with their 
subscription : but it will be very cogent to intro- 
duce the canon of the Convocation of 1571, the 
very same Convocation which sanctioned our 
Articles, as shewing that that assembly was httle 
likely to have assented to formularies which 
taught the Protestant rule of Private Judgment. 

* Preachers shall be careful that they never teach 
' ought in a sermon to be religiously held and 

* believed by the people except that which is 
' agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New 

* Testament, and which the Catholic Fathers and 
' Ancient Bishops have collected from that very 
' doctrine »^ It may be added, that in the second 
edition of the Tract the writer has made more 
clear his method of reconciUng the wording of the 
Article with those opinions which I have just been 
arguing were intended to be admitted by it, by 
introducing into the passage which follows the 
words in brackets, ' General Councils then may 

* err [as such — may err] unless in any case it is 

* promised,' &c. 

Before leaving the subject of this Article, it 
may be as w^ell to add, that the first clause so 
congenial in its wording with the prevalent 
Erastianism of that day, is nevertheless strictly 
in accordance with primitive usage, as the Tract 


observes ; and with regard to a difficulty felt 
by the anonymous writer of the few pages to 
which I have before alluded, it will be seen by an 
attentive reader, that when the Tract speaks of 
those General Councils which are gathered together 
in the name of Christy it plainly does not mean 
those Councils which profess to be so gathered 
together, but which are really so ; for as it implies 
afterwards, it is an important question and not an 
easy one * to determine — ivhat those conditions are 

* which fulfil the notion of a gathering in the name 

* of Christ/ p. 22. 

The same writer has found a difficulty in the 
Tract's explanation of the twenty-eighth Article, 
and considers that the Article ' denies that the 
' elements are altered at all/ Controversy is not 
necessary on the w^ord ' altered,' if he will bear in 
mind that the following paragraph was added in the 
XXXIX Articles, not having been in the forty- 
two, and must therefore be taken as explanatory 
of the former. * The Body of Christ is given, taken, 

* and eaten, &c.* the inference from which is 
obvious. Again, this paragraph about transub- 
stantiation, as urged I think quite successfully in 
the Tract, is plainly of the same nature with the 
twenty-second Article, and directed in a general 
way against the existing superstitions of the time. 

On the thirtieth Article (to which however I am 
not aware of objection having been as yet ex- 
pressed) the Tract has not altogether satisfied me : 


* The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay- 
people : for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament, by 
Christ''s ordinance and commandment, ought to be minis- 
tered to all Christian men alike.' 

This certainly seems to contain a protest against 
the habit in the Roman Church of denying the cup 
to the laity, in the indiscriminate and unnecessary 
manner she has adopted for so many years ; so that 
if a person considered that point of discipline in 
her communion a legitimate or justifiable use of 
that power which the Church of course has, 
I should have doubts of his being able to sign 
the Article b. It is very comforting to know, 
that it is a mere point of discipline which she 
might revoke at any moment : nor on the other 
hand does the Article seem to determine the 
question whether there may not be individual 
cases in which administration in one kind would be 
a pious procedure. Persons of infirm health (to 
whom the wine might be seriously prejudicial) 
afford one example; the ancient solitaries, to whom 
the Consecrated Bread was carried out, afford 
another ; a case where the danger of profanation 
from the Wine becoming corrupted, had the Cup 
also been brought them, is obvious'. And indeed 

'' At the same time it is certainly possible to take the first 
clause of the Article in a sense parallel to Art. XXXII, ' non 
'est denegandus, as things are in our Church, since (without 
'judging others) we prefer having it according to Christ's 
^ ordinance and commandment.' 

* ' As to the other part of the question, — whether the 


this latter, recognized as it was in the Church in 
the ages which the Convocation of 1571 must 
certainly have contemplated when it speaks of the 
Ancient Fathers and Bishops, cannot be considered 
as condemned in the Articles which that Convoca- 
tion sanctioned. 

Before concluding, it may be as well to add a 
few words in explanation of such expressions as 
the following in the Tract ; ' in such a sense Scrip- 

* ture is not on Anglican principles a rule of faith,* 
p. 11. the Article is * as it were pointing to the 

* Catholic Church diffused throughout the world, 
' which being but one cannot be mistaken,* &c. 
p. 18. * Another of these conditions/ (viz. of a 
General Council being Catholic) the Article goes on 
to mention, p. 22. * Therefore,^ as the Article 

* logically proceeds,^ p. 64 ; and so a still stronger 
expression in Tract 82, (the same Tract from which 
a large quotation is made in Tract 90, p. 66.) * I 

* look forward to success not by compelling others 
' to take my view of the Articles, but by convinc- 

* ing them that mine is the right one,' vol. iv. p. xxxi. 

* ancients did not in some private or extraordinary cases 

* administer the Sacrament in one kind, we have no dispute 

* with Bona.' ' Bona himself tells us that there are xome 
' instances of the Communion being carried in both kinds to 

* hermits and recluses.' ' As to the other instances of the sick, 

* or infants, or men in a journey, who communicate only in one 

* kind, (if they were never so true, as we see many of them are 

* false,) they are private and extraordinary cases,' &c. Bingham, 
book XV. chap. 5. 


Many persons seem to consider that such statements 
imply that persons, who subscribe the Articles in a 
different sense, do what in point of fact (of course 
dishonesty is not supposed to be imputed to them) 
they are not warranted in doing. And such further 
ways of speech as * the Church of England teaches^ 
certain doctrines, or * we hold against the Roman 

* controversialist such a point,' are often considered 
to imply, that our formularies as we have them 
really are sufficient, if people would take them 
fairly, to witness this alleged truth. But these 
expressions need not be taken to imply so much ; 
and if they need not be, it is important to state this, 
not only from the great desirableness that persons 
of opposite opinions should not consider their con- 
duct to be spoken against when it is not, (the one 
great hope of our Church's well doing at the present 
time and escape from her * unhappy divisions,' is 
a loving and temperate consideration of the points 
at issue with as little as may be of reproach and 
imputation on either side,) but also from the light 
it throws on such parts of Mr. Newman's Letter to 
Dr. Jelf, as the following : ' I should rejoice if the 

* members of our Church were all of one mind, but 

* they are not ; and till they are, one can but submit 

* to what is at present the will or rather the chas- 

* tisement of Providence.' p. 29. 

Such statements then as the preceding do not 
necessarily (I believe do not in the mind of the 
writer really) mean more than this : that if our 


Church be looked upon as a branch of the Church 
Catholic, (in our sense of the words,) she must 
be considered to mean certain doctrines when 
she uses certain statements. It is not imphed 
that our formularies rule it that we are a branch 
of the Church Catholic in this sense : many 
persons it is well known consider the English 
Church to be a Protestant Establishment, dating 
from the time of Edward VI. : and of these, some 
lay great stress on our being governed by Bishops ; 
others consider the form of ' Church Government' 
to be a matter of very small importance : there is 
no necessity for denying that either class may sub- 
scribe our formularies, that is a point for their serious 
consideration, on which we are not called on to 
form an opinion''. If they do so, they will receive 
them in a very different sense from that to which 
they give utterance in our ears. To us they come 
as the words of some old and revered friend, whom 
we have known long and well, and who has long 

f It is much to be wished that persons, who, from the apolo- 
getic air which to them the Tract may appear to wear, are led 
to consider it a sophistical attempt at explaining away our 
formal statements of doctrine, would consider the appearance 
which would be presented in their own case if they placed on 
paper one after another the passages in our formularies (whether 
Prayer Book or Articles,) which give them difficulties, without 
explicit allusion to the many parts which seem to them to be 
of an opposite tendency, and then put down in words the 
explanation of them in which they acquiesce^ and by help 
of which they subscribe. 


taught us high and holy lessons ; and if after such 
long experience we hear from him words which at 
first sound strangely, we interpret them if possible 
in accordance with his well-known spirit. If they 
absolutely refuse to be so explained, we recognise 
with sorrow that we have mistaken his character ; 
but in proportion to our experience of the precious- 
ness of his former counsels, in proportion to our 
perception of the plain traces he still bears upon 
him of his former self, are we unwilling to believe 
that any of his expressions may not be so inter- 
preted. This of course is Mr. Newman's meaning 
when he speaks of giving the Articles * the most 
Catholic sense they will admit. ^ Tract, p. 80. In a 
word then, we raise no question about others who 
interpret our formularies by the spirit of Cranmer 
and Jewel, why are they found fault with who 
interpret them by St. Gregory and St. Augustin'? 
or why are we to be suspected of lukewarmness 
in affection for our own Church, because, to- 
gether with far higher feelings of the awfulness 
of privilege entrusted to it than others have, we 

* If ever there were a point not determined by our Church, 
it is that she takes her date from the Reformation. The very 
name Protestant is not once used in our whole Services or Arlicles, 
The Prayer Book, no insignificant part of our formularies, 
dates for the most part from a far earlier period. The temporal 
rights of our Bishops, of our Chapters, the external framework 
of our Church, the divisions of our Dioceses, &c. &c. all 
^all us back to St. Angustin rather than to Cranmer. 


also add a far longer train of sympathies with 
her, and give her a far more extensive catalogue 
of saints ? 

One reason in addition may be mentioned, why 
to remain in our own Church, and by God's 
help endeavour to elevate its tone, cannot be 
looked on by the Catholic Christian as the cold 
performance of a duty, (though a plain duty of 
course it is,) but a labour of love. Many persons, 
who have been by God's grace led into what they 
deem the Truth, are most deeply sensible, that in the 
number of those who think otherwise, are still very 
many persons, so much their superiors in religious 
attainment, that the idea of even a comparison is 
most painful. Yet religious truth is the especial 
inheritance of such persons, who nevertheless, whe- 
ther by the prepossessions of education, or the 
inadequate way in which that Truth has been 
brought before them, have hitherto failed to recog- 
nise God's mark upon it. Can there be a task 
more full of interest and hope, than in all possible 
ways, especially by the careful ordering of our own 
lives and conversations, to do what in us lies to set 
before such persons in a manner which may over- 
come their adverse impressions, that one image of 
the Catholic Church, which, could they but see it, 
is the real satisfaction for their restless cravings, 
and the fit reward for their patient continuance in 
well doing ? yet such a task is exclusively ours as 
members of the English Church, and may well 


ladd one to the many associations and bonds of 

love which binds us to that Holy Mother, through 

jwhom we received our new-birth. May we all have 

[grace to labour worthily in the pious task of 

luilding her up in truth and purity, with loving 

tenderness indeed towards all branches of the 

Catholic Church, but with an especial and dutiful 

attachment to her. 

W. G. W. 

Balliol College. 


An additional quotation of Mr. Wilson's on purgatory 
from the Homilies, p. Q4. escaped my notice in writing 
what goes before. In the Homily it immediately follows 
the quotation in the Tract: a few further extracts from the 
same passage, while they seem to require some little modi- 
fication of the argument I had grounded on the previous 
passage, still on the whole will tend perhaps to shew more 
clearly the points I have insisted on : first, that the homiHst 
was not writing with a determined and accurate view of his 
own any way ; and secondly, that the general drift of the 
passage is to deny a ' place of repentance' for those who 
die in sin ; though incidentally he takes up several positions 
the soundness of which we may well doubt. And let it 
never be forgotten, that the more inconsistency of general 
view we find in the Homilies, the stronger becomes the 
argument urged in the foregoing pages : viz. that the 
Reformers did not occupy themselves with the investigation 
of 'principles on these subjects, but with vigorous attacks 
on the existing corrupt creed of the mass of men ". 

' Let these and such other places be sufficient to take away 
the gross error of purgatory out of our heads ; neither let us 
dream any more that the souls of the dead are any thing at all 
holpen by our prayers : but, as the Scripture teacheth us, let 
us think that the soul of man, passing out of the body, goeth 
slraightways either to HeaveUj or else to Hell, whereof the one 
needeth no prayer, and the other is without redemption. The 

» See p. 30. 


only purgatory wherein we must trust to be saved is the death 

and blood of Christ, &c This then is that purgatory 

wherein all Christian men put their whole trust and confidence, 
nothing doubting, but if they truly repent them of their sins, 
and die in perfect faith, that then they shall forthwith pass 
from death to life. If this kind of purgatory will not serve 
them, let them never hope to be released by men's prayers. • . . 
. . . He that cannot he saved hy faith in Christ's Bloody how shall 

he look to be delivered by man's intercessions? But we 

must take heed that we call upon this Advocate while we have space 
given us in this life, lest when we are once dead, there be no 
hope of salvation left unto us. For as every man sleepeth with 
his own cause, so every man shall rise again with his own 
cause' [[compare ' goeth straightways either to Heaven or to 
Heir just before,] ' and look in what state he dieth, in the 
same state he shall be also judged, whether it be to salvation or 
damnation. Let us not therefore dream either of purgatory, or 
of prayer for the souls of them that be dead,' &c. 

In this short passage then the writer is in a formal 
contradiction with himself, on a subject not less closely 
connected with purgatory, than the question whether 
there is any intermediate state : he first states, and 
afterwards denies, that the soul goes at once to Heaven 
or Hell. The former statement being in positive contra- 
diction to the doctrine of a Day of Judgment. He waives 
the question as to those who die in imperfect faith ; he 
seems to speak of a purgatory, the believers in which so far 
renounce their trust in Christ's Atonement, &c. &c. At 
the same time the other words in Italics, especially the 
final * therefore,"* seem to shew what is all the time the 
current of his thoughts.